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Cinque Terre.....which town ?

Aussie Greg

10+ Posts
We have only time to visit one of the five towns. Will be taking the train from Rapallo for the day, then back to Rapallo.
Could I have your thoughts on which town, taking into account:
  1. ease of access...our legs are not as young as they used to be!
  2. most photogenic/ beautiful.
  3. nicest restaurants.
Our leaning is to Manarola, but would sincerely appreciate your comments.
Thanks Greg


1000+ Posts
Hi Aussie Greg!

We visited all the towns in 2008. We were there in November, so practically had the place to ourselves then. There is no way I can answer those questions for you.
But one of the ways that you can get a feel for the scenic side of things is to look at the villages on 3D Google Earth - very impressive! You can either : 1) open the software yourself, using the Shift button and left-click to shift the view around, zooming in or out, or : 2) do a search on Google for (for example) "manarola google earth 3d", and you will get links and videos that you can open and play around with in your browser. Give some time for loading.
For example :

1) :

2) :
Someone who has already made a video of the imagery :

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRog_yBwv-o

Remember, too, that many of the scenic shots you see posted are from the sea or hilltops - being in the towns themselves is a bit different. You might also want to check the distance and elevation difference of the train station to the rest of the town.
Have a great trip.
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100+ Posts
Each village has it's own unique charm, we stayed in Monterosso and hiked to the other villages. Monterosso has two sections "old town" and a newer beach resort side, awesome beach. It's pretty level walking between the two sections. The rest of the villages have some decent elevation changes! If I had only one day and wanted less walking I would choose either Manarola or Vernazza. As mentioned, to get some of the iconic photo's you'll need to do a little extra walking, but Manarola has a comfortable walkway that will give you this view (PIC). We ate a wonderful late lunch/early dinner at sunset on Marina Piccola's balcony (marked in RED). We also enjoyed a couple hours in Rapallo last Fall.

UT3A1552 (4).jpg
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Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
Although the legs may not be so reliable, perhaps the sea legs are?
e.g. train to Riomaggiore or Manarola, strolling around there until it's time to get the ferry to Vernazza, and likewise have a nose around there until the train leaves to go back to Rapallo (unless the ferry also goes to Rapallo - I never checked that).

The ferry gives you a good (and different) way to view the coast, but also saves the legs

If time is too tight for that, then I'd say cut a few minutes off the train journey and just see Vernazza


100+ Posts
The ferry from Rapallo goes to CT. It also connects to Portovenere, Santa Margharita Ligure, Portofino, and San Fruttuoso. The ferry routes are very scenic and, if not in a rush, a worthwhile option. We've always enjoyed Portovenere as a great option to CT -- much of the same feel and nowhere near the crowds. Also big fans of Rapallo. We've been going there for a number of years on July 1, 2, and 3 for the Montallegro festival and the magnificent fireworks displays, staying at the Excelsior Palace Hotel which adds to the fun.



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